Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Good governance in the 21st century

July 2011

Joachim Ahrens, Rolf Caspers, Janina Weingarth (eds). Edward Elgar  Publishing. Hardback, 374 pages. £89.95

This book, written almost entirely by academics,  explores how economic globalization has set up political tensions, created national policy-making challenges, and brought about institutional change across the world.

Its basic premise – such as one can really emerge from what is a disparate collection of articles brought together under a loose umbrella – is that the emergence of market forces as the dominant global framework provides an opportunity for progress to be made towards better standards of governance in all countries.

This, it says, can be led both by companies and governments, who should together be able to bring about change by exploiting the greater space and freedom that a global market supposedly offers.

It does this while wisely pointing out that  globalization and market forces might in fact cause a move in the opposite direction, as the free market ethos erodes what gains have been achieved in terms of national standards and regulation.

As is usually the case when academics get together, the contributors to this book tend to prefer posing questions than  providing answers.

But for those who share the view that globalization offers the chance to promote beneficial change, this book will be a useful aid to understanding the interaction between globalization and all kinds of governance.

Peter Mason

Peter Mason | Global | Governance

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